How To Convert Your Idea Into A Real Product Or Service
What’s difficult with developing a new product or service isn’t coming up with a great idea, but putting the idea into action. Entrepreneurs should be taking the right steps to turn their dreams about the next best product or service into a tangible and valuable reality.
From being a concept to finally becoming a reality, a product or service goes through several stages until it’s finally launched in the market and made accessible to consumers.
Of course, the basic idea behind coming up with a new product or service is to solve consumer problems and help make their lives easier.
The roadmap for bringing a product or service idea to the market isn’t straightforward. It’s a long process that involves several risks.
It makes sense why many startups and even established businesses seek help from new product development services to successfully go through the entire process. This post takes a closer look at the different steps involved in taking a product or service from concept to reality.
1) Customer Exploration
No customer means no one will pay for your product or service. This is why knowing your customer is the first big step you must take when converting your business idea into a reality.
What customer segments are you trying to address? Answer this question by stating the major needs and pains your customers are facing. Elaborate on what they want to get done.
These are the things that you must define from the start. Try to really feel and understand the problem of your customers instead of forcing a solution.
Any product or service can be successful so long as it’s creating value for consumers. As you identify and define your market, it’s, still, essential to keep in mind that your product or service doesn’t have to serve every consumer.
Find your niche market by concentrating on one customer segment. Things will become a lot easier that way.
Part of the customer exploration process is problem validation. So, what’s problem validation? It’s the next step you’ll take after identifying a problem.
Does the problem matter to your ideal customers? Does it really exist? Surveys and interviews with a small number of consumers representing your ideal customers are of great help in this respect.
2) Assessment Of The Competitive Advantage Of Your Product Or Service Idea
There’s always competition. Even though you might think that you’re the only one, you’re not. However, as long as you have an idea who your competitors are, there’s no reason to be afraid of competition. Identify your main competitors and analyze them.
Identify the secret sauce that will make your product or service idea stand out in a competitive niche by listing all its relevant benefits to your ideal customers. Lastly, evaluate yourself with your competitors and implement any necessary changes.
3) Building Your Business Case
Now, your product or service idea is already taking real form after pouring over your ideal customers’ input. You’ve fleshed out your idea, and you know it’s going to satisfy a real market need. You now believe that building it will be a good decision. So, what’s next?
The next step is to build your business case. It’s a document examining the benefits and risks that are involved in launching your product or service idea. You should only move forward with your idea if your business case concludes with a compelling argument that it will be a good decision to do so.
It’s pretty straightforward to create a business case. However, keep in mind that along with the scale of your product or service idea, there could be changes in what you might need for your business case. It also holds even when you’re still taking your initial steps.
The following are the key points that a business case elaborates:
- Product Or Service Description – What does your product or service do? What kind of market does it serve?
- Justification For Building Your Product – How much potential for success your product has in the market? It can be measured by taking a closer look at its intended market.
- Project Plan – This is where you outline an estimate of how much a product or service launch will cost. It also includes the steps to take for a successful launch, as well as your sales target in your first month or year.
4) Developing The Concept Of The Product Or Service
It’s now time to conceptualize your product or service idea. Validate precisely what it is that you’re going to build, how things should work, and the features or qualities your product or service should have. Also, describe the materials you need, and how your product or service idea could look or appear.
In the product or service design process, developing the concept of your idea is a critical milestone. It’s where you start building out what exactly you’re going to bring to consumers. It’s in this process where your product or service idea starts to take shape.
It’s essential since you must be sure that you’re producing something you can easily test with your team and customers to find out whether your product or service idea really has the potential to succeed. Idea conceptualization will help you figure out the direction your design should take.
5) Ensuring The Means
After exploring your ideal customers, identifying and analyzing the competition, as well as estimating the different requirements that’d go into launching your product or service, you should next gather all the requirements.
First, make sure that you have resources, both financial and workforce, to invest in the startup. You can approach someone who can partner-up with you or apply for a startup loan in the bank to get some extra help.
The intellectual property right is the second essential requirement you should focus on. It’s the process that you should take to own the rights over your created product. Trademarks, copyright, or patents–these are all covered by intellectual property (IP). IPRs can help you or your company avoid any unnecessary lawsuit and benefit you in the long term.
6) Pricing Your Product
You should know if there’s a demand for your product idea and have a comprehensive view of the competition by now. You can begin the pricing of your product using those insights.
To start with, calculate the costs of product manufacturing and distribution. Your budget for marketing and promotion should also be considered. The numbers, of course, don’t have to be accurate, but they must be close enough to provide you with a clear picture.
Add them all together after you’re done calculating the costs. The sum divided by the number of product units produced will give you the cost per unit of product.
Add a safety factor of 30-50% of the value of each unit to the cost per single unit to take all necessary precautions. You’ll, then, have the adjusted final cost per unit, which will be your final product price.
Why is identifying the adjusted final cost per unit important? You can’t go lower than the adjusted final cost per unit without suffering a loss. It serves as the proverbial floor for your product pricing.
Aside from the adjusted final cost per unit, it’s also essential to figure out the pricing ceiling. It’s defined by how much your ideal customers are willing to pay. To get the pricing ceiling, check the standing of your product in relation to your competitors’, as well as their prices. Of course, your profits increase the closer you get to your ceiling.
7) Creating A Prototype
An initial prototype helps you determine the viability of your product. It’s the physical representation of the product concept. Every product starts out with one.
It’s time to design your product if the researched statistics already ensure a positive opportunity for your idea in the market. The prototype can help you in identifying areas of problem in your product, making the required tweaks possible, and ensuring that your final product is flawless.
A prototype can be as complex as a replica of your final product or as basic as a drawing. Design your product based on the requirements you’ve defined earlier.
Printing out three-dimensional or 3D prototypes has become the newest norm, all because of advancements in the technology for 3D printing. Using computer-aided design (CAD) software, a 3D digital model of your product can now be created.
Implement the necessary changes and develop a couple of prototype batches. It’s an iterative process that you can repeat until you obtain the perfect prototype.
8) Testing With Pilot Customers
It can be a huge risk to launch your service or the first batch of your finalized products in the market on a commercial scale. It’s true even after gathering feedback via surveys and accounting for all possible hiccups.
Therefore, arranging pilot customers to use and experience your product or service is a great idea. It’s a way to warm up towards finally making your product or service available to consumers. Of course, these pilot customers should provide you with honest feedback.
Because your product or service is now in its final form, the pilot customer-provided feedback is more significant than any prior feedback you’ve received.
You can use them for fine-tuning your product or service instead of implementing any last-minute major changes. The product can, then, be launched in the market after any required fine-tuning.
It, indeed, takes a lot of hard work and time to turn your idea into a profitable product or service. But, by adhering to the steps discussed in this post, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding in your endeavor.
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